In a recent advisory opinion, the Office of Inspector General DHHS (“OIG”) approved an arrangement under which free access to an electronic computer interface is provided by a hospital to local physicians. The opinion provides an important contemporary analog to earlier guidance published by the OIG as part of the preamble to the Federal anti-kickback statute safe harbor regulations (see 56 Fed. Reg. 35952, 35978, July 29, 1991). At the same time, the OIG reinforced its long-standing position that in order for such arrangements to pass muster under the Federal anti-kickback statute, the parties must validate that the technology is limited to facilitating hospital-physician communications, and that it will not have independent value to the physicians.
Please contact David Schoolcraft (email@example.com or 206.447.7000) you have any questions about the scope and applicability of this OIG advisory opinion.